New York, NY, July 14, 2010
The Hispanic Federation and LULAC released a study of Latino public opinion today measuring the remarkable unity of the Hispanic community in opposition to Arizona’s racial profiling law, known as SB 1070, and support for comprehensive immigration reform across political affiliations, degrees of assimilation, and national origin groups. (See Attached Report)
“We want this study to educate America on what we know to be true through our own experiences and to move key stakeholders in this country away from the anecdotal stories about the impact of immigration policy on the Latino community to poll results that clearly illustrate how Latinos view the key, pivotal issues in the immigration debate,” stated Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, President of the Hispanic Federation.
The research conducted by LatinoMetrics(sm) details how SB 1070 and anti-immigrant rhetoric has provoked change in the opinions and behaviors of the Latino community. Among other findings, the study found that four months before critical Congressional midterm elections, immigration reform has joined the economy as the issue on the top of Latinos’ minds and that large majorities of Latinos of all parties will support politicians who favor immigration reform.
“This new poll demonstrates a tremendous shift in the importance that immigration has become for a wide cross section of the Latino population of the United States,” said League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “The fact that immigration reform is now a higher priority for Latinos than the economy and education demonstrates that Latinos have taken offense to the way immigrants have been demonized by politicians and political interest groups and are prepared to vote accordingly.”
“It is rare to find a group as diverse and nuanced as the US Latino community to be as united and galvanized by an issue as the immigration policy debate has achieved,” said Carlos Garcia and Carlos Santiago, co-presidents of LatinoMetrics. “This national and projectable poll shows Hispanics across the US, regardless of country of origin, party affiliation, language used at home or income, to be united with common cause and very concerned about a rising tide of racism. The community is overwhelmingly opposed to Arizona’s SB1070, and they are supportive of candidates who will work hard for the passage of an Immigration Reform bill with a path to citizenship in 2010.”
SB 1070 has also had social and economic impacts in the Latino community. Survey results measure a mixture of fear and anger among Latinos, with individuals opting to change their lifestyles, shopping behaviors, transportation, and community participation as they adapt to an environment that is increasingly hostile to them. According to the survey, one in five Latinos would be less likely to report major crimes, such as a brutal assault, to police if a law similar to SB 1070 were enacted in their state.